Job losses like ‘nothing before seen’ as Silicon Valley cities reach double-digit unemployment rates

Palo Alto Online:

Statewide unemployment numbers for April spiked higher than projected, jumping by an unprecedented 10.2 percentage points, according to a jobs report released by California’s Employment Development Department on Friday morning.

With more than 2.3 million Californians losing their jobs in April, the state’s unemployment rate now stands at 15.5%, up from 5.3% in March. Two Midpeninsula cities also reached double-digits: Atherton’s and East Palo Alto’s unemployment rates are both now 12.4%, according to the department’s data.

“The unprecedented job losses are like nothing before seen in California history in a current data series that dates back to 1976, and are a direct result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the May 22 report states.

The number of unemployed Californians rose to almost 2.9 million in over just two months, according to the report, surpassing the previous 2.2 million peak during the Great Recession in 2010, which took more than two years to reach.

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